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Official DVICO TViX M6620N HD (ATSC/QAM) Tuner Topic - Page 69

post #2041 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by andydrew View Post
I have seen information saying that the drive must have not more than 32 MB of cache, must be SATA-2 (3 Gb/s) transfer or be jumpered to force SATA-2, must be formatted first in a PC, etc. None of these requirements are true. I believe that the only limitation of the hard drive is that it must be 2 TB capacity or less with a SATA interface.

Regarding formatting, there is absolutely no reason to format the drive first in a PC. This just complicates the process. Yes, there is misinformation in the user guide that states that the drive is automatically formatted when the TViX is turned on. No, it is not. The following must be done to format the drive:

* Install the drive in the TViX
* Power on and go through the setup Wizard
* Choose the option 'Movie' from the main menu
* Once you enter the Movie screen you will be prompted - 'TVIX found Internal HDD is not formatted. Do you want to format the internal disk'. The options are OK and Cancel, click OK. My 1 TB drive took less than 30 seconds to format.

Figured that. I don't have a PC with a SATA interface so I'm pretty sure I used the procedure you posted.

post #2042 of 2239
TViX M6620N Plus first impressions:

* From the outside the product seems to be well designed. Compact, nice looking, and quiet.
* The setup process to install the hard drive, initial setup, format drive, firmware update (mine had firmware 2.0.8, newest is 2.1.0), and channel scan were smooth.
* I had to fiddle around a bit to get the time zone and clock set. The clock setup and time zone/dst are in two menus. After I updated the time zone and turned on DST my clock was 1 hour off. I had to change to manual time, adjust the time, and then back to automatic via NTP (network time protocol) to correct it.
* The User Interface in the main menu is easy to use and navigate.
* The PSIP driven program guide is useful. You can schedule a recording from the guide which pre-sets the recording settings.
* The information that is presented upon changing channels is really nice. Channel name, program name, a visual indication of how much time has elapsed and remaining in the program, signal strength meter, etc.
* The remote control is decent but has a lot of very specific buttons for certain functions. This will likely be good as I get used to the remote although not so good if you want to use a universal remote that doesn't have specific buttons for some of these functions.
* The tuners seem to be very sensitive and the HD picture quality is excellent.
* The channel changing speed is good. Not as fast as your TV but not as slow as some other DVR/PVR's that I have tried in the past.
* Setting up recordings is fairly painless. Good amount of options but not too complicated.
* Chasing playback (beginning to watch a show that is currently recording) is not as straight forward as Windows Media Center or Tivo. I didn't yet try on the screen that shows the red recording dot but I did try to go play via the recordings menu. The show does not show up under recordings until the recording is complete. Basically you need to dig in deeper and find the file. But then when you chase playback the playback seems to be interrupted when you catch up to what is being recorded. I need to play with this more to understand the 'best' way to handle this. I am used to being able to start watching a show 15 minutes after it starts to skip the commercials while the show is still recording.
* I experienced the pop-up stating that a show will record in 15 seconds and the impact of the TViX tuning to the show that is currently recording. Yes, this is a bit of a pain but I am sure I will get used to working around this.

Overall seems like a very nice DVR for the price. Not as full featured in regards to DVR functionality as Windows Media Center or Tivo but also less expensive overall due to reasonable power draw when operating, less than 1 watt in standby, and no program guide to pay for. The TViX is drawing 20 watts when in use via a Kill a Watt meter with the above hard drive installed.

As long as you are willing to look past this product no longer getting firmware updates, it seems like a reasonable choice if you require a dedicated DVR appliance that isn't Tivo. These can still be purchased new with a warranty which could offer advantages over purchasing a used DVR of another make.

I should also note that I am trying out the BuddyTV App to supplement the PSIP program guide. This App allows you to see a full program guide for your zip code / provider, set a Watch list of the shows you watch and displays the upcoming shows as they will be shown all from your mobile device. I believe this will give me insight into repeats as well as programming changes so that I can adjust the TViX recording schedule. I will surely miss the functionality of a full program guide that automatically provides the ability to not record repeats, 'season pass' type functionality to reschedule shows as their day and time change, etc.
Edited by andydrew - 4/17/13 at 1:52pm
post #2043 of 2239
Regarding the clock set, when you select to set the clock by NTP and change the DST mode, you can turn the unit off and then on again to get the correct time, without having to mess with the manual clock setting. The TViX checks NTP time at startup, so that's when it will notice that the DST setting has changed and update the clock accordingly.

Thanks for the note about how to do the HDD formatting on the unit itself. FWIW, you don't have to connect the HDD to a PC to do remote formatting, either. You can just connect the USB A/B cable between the TViX and a computer before booting the TViX to let the PC see the TViX internal HDD as a USB HDD, which Windows can then format. I assume the TViX formatted your HDD in NTFS.
post #2044 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

Thanks for the note about how to do the HDD formatting on the unit itself. FWIW, you don't have to connect the HDD to a PC to do remote formatting, either. You can just connect the USB A/B cable between the TViX and a computer before booting the TViX to let the PC see the TViX internal HDD as a USB HDD, which Windows can then format. I assume the TViX formatted your HDD in NTFS.

Although I suspect your PC can't see the drive in the TViX when hooked up via USB without the TVIX being powered on. In any case I wanted to make the point that the TViX can handle the formatting and you don't need to deal with a computer at all. Also depending on the operating system of the computer you may run into additional hard drive compatibility issues when attempting to recognize the drive and format it.

Yes, I assume it's NTFS since the TViX user manual states that NTFS is the system that is supported. I have not connected nor will be connecting the TViX to a computer to verify.

I wanted to provide this information so that future purchasers can be assured that:

* You can purchase a current hard drive and don't have to search for something and possibly pay more for older technology.
* That you don't need any computer to setup the TViX.
post #2045 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by andydrew View Post


* You can purchase a current hard drive and don't have to search for something and possibly pay more for older technology.
* That you don't need any computer to setup the TViX.

From my experience, I too concur with the 64MB cache, SATA3, etc. working fine.

Yes, the TViX will format the drive but the new WD drives have the advanced format that require the sectors to be aligned to get the normal performance (80-85Mbps). This is the reason we format using Windows 7 or use the WD Align utility with Windows XP. You should check the performance to see if that worked.
post #2046 of 2239
I mean that you must connect the USB cable prior to booting the TViX, so that it will boot in USB slave mode.
post #2047 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by dornanu View Post

Yes, the TViX will format the drive but the new WD drives have the advanced format that require the sectors to be aligned to get the normal performance (80-85Mbps). This is the reason we format using Windows 7 or use the WD Align utility with Windows XP. You should check the performance to see if that worked.

How is WD Align relevant when the WD Advanced Format drive is installed and formatted by the TViX? Per the WD Support Document here: http://support.wdc.com/product/downloadsw.asp?sid=128

"WD Align is only necessary for users who have:

Installed Windows XP to a WD AFD
Cloned a source bootable hard drive with any Windows OS to a target AFD
Created single or multiple partitions on an AFD using Windows XP"

In addition, per an article on AnandTech: http://www.anandtech.com/show/2888/2

"Notably, Linux and Mac OS X are not affected by this issue. Western Digital has tested both of these operating systems, and officially classifies them as not-affected. Ultimately we suspect that if you went back far enough you could find older versions of these OSes that are affected, but unlike Win 5.xx, there’s not a significant legacy user base to worry about. Along these lines, Linux and Mac OS X drive imaging products are similarly unaffected. In their testing, imaging tools such as SuperDuper didn’t run in to any alignment issues, so Linux and Mac OS X users are not affected in any way by 4K sectors. It’s only Windows and Windows imaging products that are affected."

Assuming the TViX runs some form of Linux this shouldn't be an issue. The drive was never manipulated with Windows XP since it was never connected to a computer nor cloned. It came right out of the box and went into the TViX. I don't see how WD Align is relevant when formatting a WD advanced format drive with the TViX.

I suppose it is possible that the PViX is using a old version of Linux and/or is using some format utility that formats in sector sizes of 512 byte vs. 4096 bytes. But since I don't have any other computer at the location where the PViX is installed it's going to be difficult to verify the sector size.
Edited by andydrew - 4/17/13 at 8:23pm
post #2048 of 2239
Hi All,

I borrowed a Kill-A-Watt meter from the library (evidently they lend more than books).

The meter seemed to read lower (like it was always rounding down). None of the TViXes registered at all when turned off. Not even 1 watt. I tried a 1 watt LED nightlight and it didn’t register either. I tried a 7W nightlight and it showed 6W. I tried a dialable AC adapter with a little fan. I loaded up the fan (put my finger on it to slow it up) to try to make sure I was maximizing power draw. It seemed to be ok when I thought it should say 3 or 2. I could get it to read 1 as well but when I really dropped the power it was difficult to get it to read 1 when I thought it should be. So the very bottom end of the meter is probably not too accurate. This is pretty normal that it’s going to be more accurate in the range they expect appliances like fridges to be. When running the tests below, the numbers moved around a bit which is normal but I’m reporting what seemed to be the most stable reading.

Ok, so with meter accuracy covered, onto the stats:

6620N with WD20EARS 20W/31VA
- These are stats when recording
6620N with WD20EARX 20W/31VA
- this might have been slightly more because it did spend a bit more time at 21
6620N with ST2000DM001 23W/35VA
- I tried a few more tests with this set up.
- I just watched TV without recording or playback. After a minute or two power droped to 21W.
- Playback was at 23W but fast forwarding increased to 24W.
6620N no harddrive 16W/25VA
M6500A with tuner, no harddrive 12W/19VA
R3300 with tuner, no harddrive 10W/17VA

One interesting thing is the power factor (~64%). I didn’t do further tests but I bet that’s all fan. So I think a fair amount of the wattage is actually the fan. I didn’t change the fan settings from the default (normal I think).

I've got the meter for another couple of weeks so let me know if you want me to try any other tests.
post #2049 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by andydrew View Post

I suppose it is possible that the PViX is using a old version of Linux and/or is using some format utility that formats in sector sizes of 512 byte vs. 4096 bytes. But since I don't have any other computer at the location where the PViX is installed it's going to be difficult to verify the sector size.

Fair enough. This was always my worry. I have some older TViXes as well (R3300 and M6500A). What I'll do is next time I get a WD drive (maybe a month or two), I'll put the drive straight into the 6620N and then test the results.
post #2050 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by dornanu View Post

Ok, so with meter accuracy covered, onto the stats:

6620N with WD20EARS 20W/31VA
- These are stats when recording
6620N with WD20EARX 20W/31VA
- this might have been slightly more because it did spend a bit more time at 21
6620N with ST2000DM001 23W/35VA
- I tried a few more tests with this set up.
- I just watched TV without recording or playback. After a minute or two power droped to 21W.
- Playback was at 23W but fast forwarding increased to 24W.
6620N no harddrive 16W/25VA

It makes sense that the Seagate 7200 RPM drive is using apx. 3 more watts per the drive spec sheets between the Seagate and the two WD's. Since the general recommendation is to use a 5400 RPM or similar drive are we comfortable with what is in the DVR comparison chart - 20 watts? Sure it could also be less with a 2.5" laptop drive vs. 3.5" desktop drive but the instructions and chassis for the 6620N call for the 3.5" size.

It would be interesting to see if changing the 6620N fan speed in the TViX configuration to something slower than normal makes any difference in power consumption. Although the user manual recommends using normal.
post #2051 of 2239
Is there a way to change the clock on the LED display, front panel from military time to AM/PM?
post #2052 of 2239
No. The time/date display settings only affect the OSD clock.
post #2053 of 2239
Quote:
dornanu;
I borrowed a Kill-A-Watt meter from the library (evidently they lend more than books).
Talk about a strange place to get one from. BTW you can buy one for as low as $17 (plus shipping). Little reason not to have one. Unless, of course you just don't care about energy usage. wink.gif
Nice list of power consumptions. Power hog TiVo should take a lesson.
post #2054 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by andydrew View Post

Assuming the TViX runs some form of Linux this shouldn't be an issue. The drive was never manipulated with Windows XP since it was never connected to a computer nor cloned. It came right out of the box and went into the TViX. I don't see how WD Align is relevant when formatting a WD advanced format drive with the TViX.

I suppose it is possible that the PViX is using a old version of Linux and/or is using some format utility that formats in sector sizes of 512 byte vs. 4096 bytes. But since I don't have any other computer at the location where the PViX is installed it's going to be difficult to verify the sector size.

I don't believe any utility can reformat an AF drive to use 512-byte sectors, and if it could the drive capacity would be dramatically reduced. Efficient performance of an AF drive requires that all partitions created on it start on 4096-byte boundaries and that all block reads and writes use block sizes that are a multiple of 4096 bytes. If the OS performs a logical block operation that isn't aligned with the physical blocks, the drive itself has to access an extra 4096-byte sector before or after the target data and (for a write) update only parts of the first and last physical sectors accessed, all of which can reduce performance considerably.
post #2055 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by L David Matheny View Post

I don't believe any utility can reformat an AF drive to use 512-byte sectors, and if it could the drive capacity would be dramatically reduced. Efficient performance of an AF drive requires that all partitions created on it start on 4096-byte boundaries and that all block reads and writes use block sizes that are a multiple of 4096 bytes. If the OS performs a logical block operation that isn't aligned with the physical blocks, the drive itself has to access an extra 4096-byte sector before or after the target data and (for a write) update only parts of the first and last physical sectors accessed, all of which can reduce performance considerably.

So I assume you also believe that all should be well if the AF drive is formatted by the TIvX?
post #2056 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by andydrew View Post

So I assume you also believe that all should be well if the AF drive is formatted by the TIvX?

If the TIvX formats and uses the AF drive so that all reads and writes start on 4096-byte boundaries, then it should operate the drive as efficiently as possible.
post #2057 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by L David Matheny View Post

If the TIvX formats and uses the AF drive so that all reads and writes start on 4096-byte boundaries, then it should operate the drive as efficiently as possible.

That's the thing. Unless someone else has confirmed this, I don't know for sure.

I can state that I have been able to record a show and watch another show while recording without any performance issues. So I believe it's fine but I don't have proof since I don't have easy access to a computer to confirm the sector size of the format that was done by the TViX.
post #2058 of 2239
If you press the info button on the remote while you're browsing the HDD contents, it will show you a drive capacity/format/sector size popup. I'm sure it will say 4096, though, as even drives formatted with Windows XP say that.
post #2059 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

If you press the info button on the remote while you're browsing the HDD contents, it will show you a drive capacity/format/sector size popup. I'm sure it will say 4096, though, as even drives formatted with Windows XP say that.

Yep. It says NTFS, 4096 bytes per sector.
post #2060 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

No. The time/date display settings only affect the OSD clock.

So even though I chose MM/DD/YYYY during setup, this is why my list of recorded programs uses DD/MM/YYYY? A minor annoyance, to be sure.

@andydrew, I appreciate your confirming my suspicions that SATA III, size of cache, etc., don't matter. And thanks for posting the tips on how to have the TiVX format the drive. Wish I had your steps before I set mine up the first time.
post #2061 of 2239
We were talking about the front panel clock, which always uses 24h time. I'm not sure how the time settings affect the other menus. I have mine set to do YYYY-MM-DD, which usually makes programs display chronologically when they are sorted by name or time.
post #2062 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goes to 11 View Post

@andydrew, I appreciate your confirming my suspicions that SATA III, size of cache, etc., don't matter. And thanks for posting the tips on how to have the TiVX format the drive. Wish I had your steps before I set mine up the first time.

+1 wink.gif
post #2063 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goes to 11 View Post

@andydrew, I appreciate your confirming my suspicions that SATA III, size of cache, etc., don't matter. And thanks for posting the tips on how to have the TiVX format the drive. Wish I had your steps before I set mine up the first time.

I must give credit to B. Alley's 3/31/2013 review of this product on Amazon.com. This is how I found out that you must go into the Movies menu to format the hard drive. So I am just confirming what has already been discovered.
post #2064 of 2239
FWIW I don't believe that the issue that has been previously reported regarding incorrectly formatted PSIP data from ION stations causing the TViX to shut down has been resolved. I am able to receive the ION OTA station from Los Angeles. When I have this ION station and it's subchannels in my channel list the TViX will have this shut down issue. When I remove the ION station it no longer occurs. Los Angeles is the ION station where Kei from Digital Connection sent a TViX unit so that they could troubleshoot this issue. Seems that DVICO would need to fix this issue with a firmware update which we are not likely to ever see since it appears that DVICO is no longer releasing firmware updates for this unit. Likely I would not be watching ION anyway since the transmission tower is more than 120 miles away and the reception is not going to be reliable at that distance. There is no local ION station in the San Diego or Tijuana market.

If DVICO ever does another firmware update it would be great if they would:

* Fix this PSIP shutting down the unit issue. Better error handling of whatever condition causes this.
* Update so that when a show starts recording it is not tuned on the screen. There has got to be a way to do this in the background.
* Provide better support for 'chasing playback' where if you watch a show that is currently recording you can continue to watch it to the end as with any other recorded content.
* Remove the red dot that shows on the screen when a program is recording.
* Allow the clock on the front LED display to be formatted in different ways.
* For the US Market eliminate the scanning of ATSC OTA channels that are higher than channel 51 since channels from 52-69 no longer exist for OTA Television.
* Provide a method to manually add in a channel that has been deleted or manually add a channel that was not found in the channel scan without having to re-scan again.
post #2065 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by andydrew View Post

FWIW I don't believe that the issue that has been previously reported regarding incorrectly formatted PSIP data from ION stations causing the TViX to shut down has been resolved. I am able to receive the ION OTA station from Los Angeles. When I have this ION station and it's subchannels in my channel list the TViX will have this shut down issue. When I remove the ION station it no longer occurs. Los Angeles is the ION station where Kei from Digital Connection sent a TViX unit so that they could troubleshoot this issue. Seems that DVICO would need to fix this issue with a firmware update which we are not likely to ever see since it appears that DVICO is no longer releasing firmware updates for this unit. Likely I would not be watching ION anyway since the transmission tower is more than 120 miles away and the reception is not going to be reliable at that distance. There is no local ION station in the San Diego or Tijuana market.

If DVICO ever does another firmware update it would be great if they would:

* Fix this PSIP shutting down the unit issue. Better error handling of whatever condition causes this.
* Update so that when a show starts recording it is not tuned on the screen. There has got to be a way to do this in the background.
* Provide better support for 'chasing playback' where if you watch a show that is currently recording you can continue to watch it to the end as with any other recorded content.
* Remove the red dot that shows on the screen when a program is recording.
* Allow the clock on the front LED display to be formatted in different ways.
* For the US Market eliminate the scanning of ATSC OTA channels that are higher than channel 51 since channels from 52-69 no longer exist for OTA Television.
* Provide a method to manually add in a channel that has been deleted or manually add a channel that was not found in the channel scan without having to re-scan again.

dont for get to add capabilities to do media streaming of recorded content and maybe the netflix and hulu app would be nice biggrin.gif
post #2066 of 2239
Quote:
Provide a method to manually add in a channel that has been deleted or manually add a channel that was not found in the channel scan without having to re-scan again.
That should be #1 by far on the list with removing that "meatball' while recording #2.
post #2067 of 2239
I'd still like support for closed captions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xcom View Post

dont for get to add capabilities to do media streaming of recorded content
You can already do that with SMB.

The ION problem isn't as bad as it was, but I was still able to get KKPX (ION San Francisco) to crash my unit by tuning to the various ION channels and viewing the guide repeatedly, so I deleted them again.

Being able to start recordings in the background will never happen; if you read the beginning of this topic, older firmware versions weren't even able to let you watch/record at the same time at all. The developers designed the current method as a workaround to enable playback to take place at the same time as recording. Apparently there are hardware limitations that prevent silent recordings from taking place.

Proper chase play would be doable, and they ought to fix the timestamp problem while they're at it. The file list shows timestamps as "Created: ____", but it actually shows the modified timestamps, rather than the file creation ones, thus telling you when the program ended, rather than when it started.

As for the FP clock, I don't think there is any kind of dot or other indicator to show PM, so that's probably why it's locked to using a 24h format.
post #2068 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

I'd still like support for closed captions.
...
As for the FP clock, I don't think there is any kind of dot or other indicator to show PM, so that's probably why it's locked to using a 24h format.

I agree Closed Caption support would be good.

Not being able to display AM or PM should not be a constraint. Analog clocks hanging on the wall often don't have support for this. We can figure it out. At least a couple of display options would be nice.

In any case I am not expecting any of these enhancements since it's not likely we are ever going to see another firmware.
post #2069 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

Being able to start recordings in the background will never happen; if you read the beginning of this topic, older firmware versions weren't even able to let you watch/record at the same time at all. The developers designed the current method as a workaround to enable playback to take place at the same time as recording. Apparently there are hardware limitations that prevent silent recordings from taking place.

Yes, I am aware that there were previous enhancements to allow for watching and recording at the same time. I don't know that I am believing that there is no way to allow for 'silent' recordings. Since there is the capability for two shows to be recorded at once there is obviously a way for that second recording to continue to occur when it's not being displayed on the screen. I suspect there would be a way to somehow enable the tuners to tune and record the content without displaying a message on the screen nor having to tune the content and output it to the screen.

I am not a firmware developer nor do I have intimate knowledge of the capabilities of the hardware. Just speculating.
post #2070 of 2239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

I'd still like support for closed captions.
You can already do that with SMB.

The ION problem isn't as bad as it was, but I was still able to get KKPX (ION San Francisco) to crash my unit by tuning to the various ION channels and viewing the guide repeatedly, so I deleted them again.

Being able to start recordings in the background will never happen; if you read the beginning of this topic, older firmware versions weren't even able to let you watch/record at the same time at all. The developers designed the current method as a workaround to enable playback to take place at the same time as recording. Apparently there are hardware limitations that prevent silent recordings from taking place.

Proper chase play would be doable, and they ought to fix the timestamp problem while they're at it. The file list shows timestamps as "Created: ____", but it actually shows the modified timestamps, rather than the file creation ones, thus telling you when the program ended, rather than when it started.

As for the FP clock, I don't think there is any kind of dot or other indicator to show PM, so that's probably why it's locked to using a 24h format.

KKPX is still showing an ION problem due to scrambled AirBox subchannel:

 

http://www.rabbitears.info/market.php?request=airbox

 

I was told a year ago that time stamps of "end" time were like computer files, so get used to it. I adapted by putting my M6620N back in the box. No problems since.

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